President Obama has been lauded by some for including an organic garden at the White House over objections of chemical companies. However, today's big headline at Yahoo News was—no, not any criticism of the war appropriations bill or mention of single-payer healthcare— Obama swatting a fly. (Footage plus PETA's reaction: http://www.examiner.com/x-8357-DC-TV-Examiner~y2009m6d17-PETA-reacts-to-Obamas-fly-swat-video
There is a better way to deal with insects. Various companies make a science toy called the Bug Vacuum. (The one I've been using is made by a company called Summit, which I bought at a school supply store .) It sucks insects into a transparent holding area so that children can study them and then turn them loose. However, for the last several years, I've been using it to catch bugs in my home and set them free outside.
I have found it amazingly effective, even for bugs that look delicate like daddy longlegs, spiders(1), or mosquitoes. Flies, especially smaller ones, can be good at evading the vacuum, though I've captured and released many of them, too.
In her book All Our Relations, Winona LaDuke mentions the “spiritual mistake” of “killing without reverence” (page 147). And although she discusses this in the context of wholesale slaughter of buffalo, I personally apply it in my daily interactions with other beings. LaDuke further says (on page 148) that “to kill incorrectly, many would say, affects and disrupts all life.”
(1)I allow some spiders in my house, partly to deal with flies that I cannot catch, partly to give them shelter in case there is ever malathion spraying in L.A. again. The last time malathion was sprayed, it took years for some spiders to return (and the ladybug population still hasn't recovered).